Step Up Consulting has recently published three research papers on open contracting and its role during the COVID 19 pandemic. The research conducted in 2020 covers two countries, Guatemala and the Philippines.
Hivos, a non-government organization based in the Netherlands, commissioned the research to provide evidence that can be used by local actors and donors in the design, implementation, and advocacy for inclusive crisis response and recovery.
The research highlights at least four key findings:
- During during times of emergencies, it is easy to ignore differences in context, needs, and vulnerabilities.
- Poor inclusion outcomes in COVID-19 response are a result of the lack of participation of people outside government in the design, implementation, and monitoring of initiatives to contain the virus and cushion the population against adverse economic impacts.
- Data and information is a critical component in a more effective and inclusive emergency response. When information is provided, it opens up spaces for discussion, contestation, and productive collaboration.
- The role of intermediaries can not be overemphasised in ensuring that procurement during the times of crisis is transparent and accountable. Without intermediaries, like media, watchdogs, or social accountability advocates and organisations, to scrutinise procurement records including those indicating the receipt of goods and services, as well as its consequent distribution and/or utilisation, a more accountable procurement process can not be achieved.